by Rex Yancey

The Importance of Baptism
Rex Yancey
Matthew 3:13-17

I was baptized in a farm pond, in the summertime, along with 28 other people. We had no baptisteries in those days, and we had to be saved up until the water got warm. Needless to say, it was a memorable experience. The church would gather around the pond and sing hymns like ''Shall we gather at the river,'' and ''On Jordon's stormy banks.'' There are certain days that stand out in people's lives, and baptism is one of them.

Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two ordinances of the church. Both of them were commanded by our Lord. That makes them important.

There are some false ideas about the Lord's Supper and baptism. Neither of them has saving qualities. They are external rites that do not touch the heart. This does not diminish their importance, however.

Baptism is not for babies. It is for those who consciously know what decision they are making and why they are making it.

The mode for baptism is important. The Greek word means ''to dip, or plunge under.'' It is a picture of the gospel. Jesus died, He was buried, and He rose again. Immersion depicts the gospel.

When a person dies, we do not sprinkle a little dirt on the corpse and leave him there to rot for all to see. We bury him.

The Eunuch was baptized where there was much water. Jesus walked a great distance to get to where John was so He could be baptized.

We Baptist are known for the emphasis we place on baptism. There are those who put more emphasis on it than we do; and we would even say they place too much emphasis on it. However, the only person in the New Testament who professed Jesus and did not get baptized, as far as I know, was the thief on the cross. G. Campbell Morgan said ''God gave us one death-bed repentance not to despair, but He only gave us one not to presume.''

Will there be people in heaven who was not baptized? Yes. Will there be people in heaven that did not belong to a church? Yes. But that does not ...

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